A Gifting Suite Goes Virtual — But How?

At a recent virtual awards show, hosts from 'Entertainment Tonight,' 'Extra,' 'Inside Edition' and 'E! News' offered product commentary for select VIPs to pick and choose high-end items like a $400 hair dryer, luggage and trips to Barbados.
Courtesy of the Emmys
Virtual swag included chocolate, vegan snacks, booze, luggage, headphones, shoes, a handbag and trips to resorts in Barbados.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced nearly every Hollywood event to pivot online — from movie premieres and panels to cocktail events and press junkets.

Ahead of the recent 47th annual Daytime Emmys, P&L Media and producer Lisa Lew announced that they, too, would make the move to virtual for an official luxury gifting brand lounge. But how?

Gifting lounges and swag suites demand in-person interactions as brands and sponsors get the most bang for their buck courtesy of schmoozing with stars who then pose for photos holding their respective products. In a release trumpeting the event, Lew called the circumstances of the year “unique,” adding, “We can't bring you all together with all the fabulous products, so we're bringing the products to you.”

In doing so, they partnered with a slew of on-air celebrity hosts including Entertainment Tonight stars Keltie Night and Nischelle Turner along with Extra’s Jennifer Lahmers with appearances by Inside Edition’s Victoria Recaño, and E! News talent Jason Kennedy, Justin Sylvester and Nina Parker to provide commentary of products on video that was then played for select invitees.

Those guests were then offered the chance to peruse the products online, select a wish list and provide an address for shipping. Organizers declined comment on who showed up to snag virtual swag, only releasing the names of those who were “invited,” a list that includes Sharon Osborne, Marie Osmond, Kelly Clarkson, Gayle King, Michael Strahan, Kelly Ripa, Ryan Seacrest, Racheal Ray. (In years past, the lounge has hosted names like Harry Connick Jr., Alex Trebek, Susan Lucci and Blair Underwood.)

Products included the AER Dryer, Sunpak's Ultimate Vlogging Kit, Badgley Mischka shoes, I Amaranth vegan snacks, Fanstereo headphones, Biaggi luggage, Cilque Beauty Sleep sets, Mercedes Brunelli purses, Voluspa candles, Mignon Chocolate, La Hun’s Manuka Honey, Michael Sullberg Wines, Bodvar Rose, Four Roses Bourbon, and trips to soon-to-launch Conrad Punta De Mita, and Crane Hotel and Resort in Barbados.

A version of this story first appeared in the July 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.